Friday, March 03, 2006

Bush Doctrine Will Create New Long Range Problems For India And Pakistan

From the standpoint of serving the immediate interests of positive photo opportunites to appear presidential, the Bush swing through India and Pakistan appear to be successful. However that should not mask some serious problems that nuclear dealings with India and the promotion of the Bush Doctrine of pushing for democracies in states like Pakistan.

In India, while a major state that is certainly mostly friendly of U.S. foreign policy goals is a central nation to maintain strong relations with, still allowing India the use of fast-breeder nuclear reactors is only likely to spin off more nuclear weapons material. This may only set the region up for future arms race difficulties.

And in Pakistan, any push for democracy is only likely to allow radical Islamist or religious extremist oriented parties to capture control of the government and allow Pakistan's nuclear weapons to flow freely around the Islamic worls that are at least now under the control of military dictatorship government that at least is friendly to U.S. goals and maintains some control on these arms.

It certainly sounds very Jeffersonian for Mr. Bush to stand for world democracy. However, poor results in Iran with the radical government there, the Hamas victory in Palestine, the increased power of the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt, and the dominance of Shiite religious parties and militia members such as the Badr Brigade in Iraq, begin to call this entire Bush Doctrine into question.

In many developing states, society is not yet advanced enough to promote a state of democracy. And in India where moderate religious beliefs predominate, and is a fertile ground for democracy, the opposite exists in other poor states in which radical Islam is taught in many Mosques and the population is more likely to elect irresponsible extremists to power.

The Bush swing through India and Pakistan is likely to give Mr. Bush a small public opinion boost right when two new polls just this week put his performance approval at 34-38%, and his personal approval is as little as 29%. But personal political goals should not interfere with intelligent foreign policy goals. The two goals are not always similar in their end results, whether intended or not.


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